Mississippi sportsmen ready for first tax-free weekend beginning Friday

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JACKSON, Mississippi — If you're a sportsman, this weekend is your holiday.

Mississippi's inaugural tax-free holiday will begin Friday. It runs through Sunday.

The Legislature passed a law creating an annual tax-free weekend in September. The law went into effect on July 1. The holiday will be held annually on the first Friday of each September until midnight on the following Sunday.

Individual sales of firearms, ammunition, archery equipment, rifle scopes and certain hunting supplies will be exempt from taxes during the state's inaugural tax holiday. Mississippi has a 7 percent sales tax.

Louisiana's sportsman tax-free holiday is also this weekend.

"We're very excited about this weekend," said Tom Oaks, owner of Lonnie's Sporting Goods in Corinth. "It's going to be a great thing for both our customers and us."

While a large turn-out is projected for the weekend, Oaks believes it would have been even more popular had it not been for the exclusions.

"I do think it'll be big, but it could have been even bigger. Louisiana is in their fourth year of doing this and everything is included. Sportswear, hunting boots and other types of gear are excluded from ours.

"While I am definitely looking forward to it, it is not what it should have been," Oaks said.

Oaks said he has advertised in Tennessee in hopes that more shoppers will be enticed to visit Lonnie's and take advantage of the special opportunity.

"I'm thinking it's gonna be crazy; it's gonna be like Christmas time," said Corey Campbell, manager of Scruggs Sporting Goods in Tupelo.

"Expecting a lot more bigger crowds," Campbell said. "In the last week or two people have been in shopping, seeing what we had."

While firearms are always a popular sell, retailers say ammunition will be their most popular item.

"Ammunition is gonna be a big one," Alabama resident Calvin Kluesner said. "I suspect the closer we get to hunting season it will be like it has been the last few years. We won't have any ammunition; it will be brought out pretty quick."

A tax free weekend could make ammo much more affordable even for out-of-state people like Kluesner.

"Ammunition, scents, anything with hunting you know things that hunters are gonna start looking for pretty quick," Kluesner said. "With the hunter tax free weekend I couldn't think of another opportunity for hunters to get out and get those items that they are gonna need for hunting season."

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